Uncanny X-Men #181
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #181
And for whatever reason, the dragon is appropriately dragon-sized, instead of Lockheed size, when it arrives on Earth.
The dragon begins turning Tokyo into a giant nest when it arrives. It's in love with Lockheed. After a while of the X-Men struggling against it ineffectually, the battle ends when Lockheed makes it clear he's not interested.
When the dragon arrives, some nearby Japanese schoolchildren dutifully look it up in their monster book, which i thought was cute.
The Japanese military also note that "Monster island reports all their creatures present and accounted for." That's of course a joke, but since Godzilla does (or did) exist in the Marvel Universe, and there is a Monster Island that will eventually be run by the Mole Man, it doesn't have to be that much of a joke.
Sunfire shows up to help the X-Men.
A lot of this issue is really continuing the debate about Xavier's role as field commander of the X-Men now that he can walk again. We saw this in Secret Wars as well. As a point against him, when Sunfire fails to completely burn away some falling debris, Xavier is buried in rubble, and he has a momentary freak-out when he thinks he might have been crippled again.
When the dragon threat is ended (it's not clear what happens to the dragon), we switch to an ending scene where Senator Kelly and another Senator discuss his proposed Mutant Affairs Control Act.
Some of the X-Men are wearing new costumes. We saw them in Secret Wars, but by publication date this is where they appeared first. I think they are terrible, especially Xavier's. Romita Jr. is a great artist, but not much of a costume designer.
(Also check out that dialogue in that last screenshot. Storm's response to Rogue is an odd non-sequitur. Rogue is confirming with Storm - the nominal field leader - that she should comply with Xavier's command to fly home to Westchester. Storm's response seems to be as if Rogue asked if Storm herself would rather fly home instead.)
The dragon apparently appears again in a Kitty Pryde mini-series (Shadow & Flame). The MCP lists it here as "Puff". However, they don't give it a listing for its Secret Wars appearance. Not sure why that is.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: X-Men Classic #85
Inbound References (7): show
The monster silhouette between Godzilla and the Hulk in the monster book is for the fire-breathing giant turtle Gammera.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 2, 2011 7:48 PM
About this time, the team for the proposed Magneto limited series was revealed to be Bill Mantlo & William Johnson.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 6, 2013 3:54 PM
After already commenting on Peter Parker's attire, I now wonder, given Scott's attire, if Romita wore mid-riff exposing shirts and cut-off shorts in the 80's.
The kids will show up again in San Francisco in the late 80's - don't know if that warrants including them as characters.
I notice you list Amiko as a character but don't actually explain how she comes to be Mariko's adopted daughter (granted, it's not like you need to explain every thing in every issue :)).
One of the things Shooter did well in Secret Wars was dealing with the leadership argument in the X-Men. I've never been a big Storm fan but there's no question she is the leader of the team and that Xavier's lack of field experience is a detriment.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 17, 2015 11:48 AM
Guys in belly shirts really weren't uncommon in the 80's. You saw them all the time, especially in pop culture.
Posted by: JP | May 19, 2015 12:40 AM
Rogue confirming Xavier's orders with Storm is one of the things that made Claremont's character interactions interesting. There's the natural (and explicit) confusion with the chain-of-command now that Xavier is able to go on field missions. There's also the fact that Rogue is still brand-new to the team and may not be entirely trustworthy. She has a valid reason to ask both leaders if there are any objections to sending her halfway around the world to check on the New Mutants and Cyclops. Rogue had two mommies, she would have a clue how to play off one leader against the other if she was so inclined, and part of what makes her a great X-Man is that she isn't so inclined.
It doesn't come through clearly in this sequence, but Storm would have issues as well. She would have to decide on the spot who is of more use where. The New Mutants and the X-Mansion need to be checked on - not to mention Kitty - but they have a dragon to fight. Both Storm and Rogue would be useful in fighting the dragon, but someone needs to check on the kids, and Storm's feeling threatened by Xavier's resumption of leadership. She says her place is with the team, phrasing it as both a duty of leadership, the X-Men's responsibility for the situation, and a personal preference on her part.
Xavier is given his moment of self-doubt, recognizing a problem that he himself is creating. Wolverine is also given a few panels of commentary about the situation - unlike Xavier, we can read Wolvie's thoughts without feeling guilty - and considering this is after the orders for the first few issues of "Secret Wars" came in, one assumes Claremont was adapting himself to Shooter's new edicts.
I'm sure it could have been done better - "Rogue, I would love to handle this personally, however my place is with the team. We brought this dragon here and it is our responsibility." *thinks* Goddess, after the experience we have just been through, I want nothing more than the respite of my own room at home. - but I don't think it was done badly.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 21, 2016 8:41 PM
If I had a penny for every time I've seen the East described along the lines of, "This most ancient land," I could afford to fly there business class. *Every* land is ancient for crying out loud, and if by "land" Claremont means nation-state, well, Japan is a lot less ancient than, say, Egypt, Greece or Italy.
Posted by: Oliver_C | June 22, 2016 7:16 AM
The Japanese kids show up again in a later issue. I might be mistaken but I think circa 210-220 they are on vacation in America? And I believe they remember Rogue or Wolverine. It's a bit hazy in my brain.
Posted by: Jeff | January 18, 2017 10:01 AM
Uncanny X-Men #222. The Inbound References can usually help find things like that.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 18, 2017 10:06 AM
In my opinion This issue marks the beginning of a not-so-great, messy period for the Uxm title (with some exceptions like #196 & #200) that lasts until the beginning of the mutant massacre.
Coincidence or not, It's the period where Rachel becomes part of the team. I feel they didn't really know what to do with her, and the way she leaves the team is really weird imo, specially because we have no idea what happens to her while she's gene.
Posted by: Bibs | October 6, 2017 12:27 PM
A friend o mine got this in a captain crunch giveaway contest (I opted for spider-man 252). I remember at this point we still didnt know what exactly Wolverine's mutant powers were (yeah, he had claws but those werent mutant "powers"). In one panel, Wolverine is blurred as he is running fast, so my friend guessed he had super speed.
Posted by: kveto | June 30, 2018 6:02 PM
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